Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bad day!

lacyI (Jon) am on a short fundraising trip to the USA. On this trip, I was able to spend a couple of nights with my brother and his family in Virginia. I've had a great time with them. Today, though, was a really bad day.

His girls had a beautiful horse named Lacy. This morning she was laying on the ground and they couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. After calling the vet and trying all day to save her, they ended up having to put her down. It was a very bad day.

I was so sad for their family, but I was impressed with how well they handled the whole thing... especially the girls. Please pray for them.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Alzheimer's Crash Course and My Ten-Minute Miracle

DCP_2674 This is a photo of my 98 year old grandmother and my father.

I know that Jon did great job with the kids. Some of the moms commented that they were all dressed for school and were fairly clean :) that's a plus.

Alzheimer's Crash Course

I made the 24-hour trek home by car, train, plane, another plane, and car again to basically tell my dying father goodbye. The Dr. wanted to call Hospice and we all know what that means. But, when I arrived he had awakened and asked for food! Wow! I guess they underestimated the drive to live!

I feel like I was immersed into a different world for two weeks where I learned so much about this disease while I was back in Texas. (and my mom has been in this "twilight zone" for at least two years now...pray for her, it's exhausting!)

My father has Alzheimer's and brain damage from a hip surgery.

So it's difficult to attribute which radical actions come from which horrific disease.

Alzheimer's affects the parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language. He has lost the ability to do just about everything. Well, he can walk ...but he runs into walls. He can eat by himself ...sometimes. He can't seem to find the toilet. He calls and feeds the "imaginary" dog. He can't express simple words and thoughts. It's really surreal to see someone you love do such strange things.

My Ten-Minute Miracle

In the two weeks that I had with him my father was completely irrational and incoherent. But I believe God gave me a very lucid ten-minute window with him ...just for me! I told him who I was and he remembered having a girl named Robin. (although he was confused because he thought Robin was still a baby.) I am so thankful to God for the 10 minutes that He allowed me to talk with my father. He asked me all the right "fatherly" questions. He asked me how my family was. He asked me and if I moved back home to Texas and if my husband treated me good. When I told him what a great man I married, his response was, " I knew you would pick a good deserve it." He even asked if I was having a good life. I answered yes. His response was that he had a good life,too. I began to cry ...ya know, the "ugly cry"...the one where your whole body moves and despite all your effort...sound still comes out. Then, he said ...I should have known that you were Robin because your voice is so kind and soft. He then asked if I had to go back to Germany.

That's the hardest part about what we do. We have to be an ocean away from those that we want to be with. I know that the world is so small, but it seems pretty big when I can't hop in the car and see family. Plus, my mom is always reminding me that she wants to see "her" grandchildren.

Well, enough ranting. My father will be in heaven soon. That's our goal. Heaven. It will all be worth it...but those of us left down here sure need God's mercy and grace in the meantime.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I'm so proud of my kids!

Yesterday we went to the swimming pool.  It was the last day of summer break for the local kids, so the pool would be closing the next day (today).  And since Robin is in the US until Wednesday, I felt like we needed to have a fun "Daddy Day" together.

We had a great time.  The weather was clear, but a bit cool.  And because it was cool, there weren't many people there.  Luckily, this pool is semi-heated, meaning it's not as cold as other pools.  We threw a football around, played a bit of "keep away", survived the circular float pool (definitely not a lazy river -- more like a raging rapids), and went down the big slide... all except for Emma.

The big slide scares her since she's not a good swimmer and it dumps you into deeper water than she's comfortable with.  At first one of us stayed with Emma while the others went down the slide so she wouldn't be lonely.  But in the end, Emma just waited for us in the shallower end.  Ryan, Ashton and I had a lot of fun trying out different sliding methods to achieve maximum speed and splash, etc.  And Emma cheered us on.

Ryan and Ashton kept encouraging Emma to try it out, since she wouldn't get another chance for an entire year. (That's "a whole 'nother year" for all the Texans out there!)  But she wouldn't budge.  After I informed them that we would be leaving in a few minutes, Ryan and Ashton really worked on her.  In the end, she said she'd try, but only if I went down with her.

We did it, and I held onto the side every now and then to slow our descent, but going underwater -- even for a split-second -- was a bit much for her.  She said, "I didn't like that very much."

But she had faced her fears. And the other two did a great job at encouraging her rather than ridiculing her for her fears.  I was so proud of all of them.  It was an awesome day!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Chapel band

Ryan's middle school has asked me to help out with the chapel band, made up of all students.  I'm excited because it gives me a chance to use my gift to help the school while doing something with my son.  It's also a chance to develop some influence there.

We had our first practice a couple of days ago... went well.  There's much work to do.  I want to stretch the kids musically without overwhelming them.  I think it will end up being a lot of fun!